A Basic Guide to Dressing Smartly for Work

There are a lot of men in Singapore don’t pay much attention to fashion and dressing well. Although this is the case, there is still a perfectly good reason for it; the heat. We dress for convenience instead of style, which is really a good thing. What men have to know though, is that we don’t have to sacrifice style at all. Especially in an office environment where we are expected to dress smartly too.

Knowing how to dress, what to wear, and what not to wear in the office can actually have a lot of benefits, even if you don’t notice them. That’s why we’ve listed a really simple guide you can use for reference!

Find the right fit
This is already fairly obvious, but there are still a lot of men who make mistakes with this one. We tend to pick clothes that are somewhat bigger so that we can let some air in. Again, here’s the issue with Singapore’s climate. Anyway, the right fit will always look good and it won’t really be as hot as you think. Plus, if you’re still worried about not looking good even when you’re wearing the right size, there are still a lot of aspects that can come together to improve your overall style.

Go to a tailor
This is somehow a continuation to the first point. If you’re really having difficulty looking for your size, you can try going to a tailor. It will be good for a man to at least have a few shirts, pants, or suits that are tailored for them.

Match colors
One of the more concrete examples for this one is with belts and shoes. As a rule, the color of your dress belt should match the color of your dress shoe. If your belt is brown, your shoe should be any shade of that color although preferably the same or a little lighter. Also, wear darker tones as they convey a stronger impression. Avoid neon colors, obviously because it passes off as informal for some reason. And wear black or gray socks only!

Get a trim
It is quite known that Asian men and beards don’t exactly go together. With some exceptions, of course, many cannot grow beards and look slick with them, unlike many westerners. Nevertheless, having no facial hear is still considered most professional. If you are one of those who can grow a thick beard and look good in it though, you can try to maintain it and keep it clean-looking.

Pay attention to footwear
The first thing people subconsciously notice is someone’s shoes. Now, whether this is true or not, it still shows that shoe style can mean a lot. That’s why you should not forget to clean them once in a while. Lastly, you should avoid wearing ankle socks with your dress shoes. Although it looks trendy, it’s deemed unprofessional.

How Does Human Touch Affect Us?

At one point in life, you may wonder why holding hands or hugging feels so good. Sometimes you may find yourself yearning for human touch, whether from your family, friends, boyfriends, or girlfriends. After all, there’s good reason for that.

The importance of human touch
Compared to being able to “feel” our surroundings with our hands, being on the receiving end can have just as much importance. Infants, for example, who are usually exposed to human touch can gain healthy weight faster and have improved mental development.

This, of course, carries on as we grow older. Sometimes though, social expectations limit our tactile interaction with others. A naturally touchy person will usually restrain himself/herself from hugging or touching strangers or people they just met, well, for obvious reasons.
Benefits

Reduce stress and anxiety
There are some Singaporeans, for instance, who walk along nature parks with their partners as a stress reliever. If you happen to try this out, you’ll know that it is effective. Human touch, especially non-sexual acts like hugging or holding hands can provide a feeling of comfort and assurance that can ease anxiety and stress.

Can improve mood
During tactile interactions, our body gets a boost of the “happy hormone”, oxytocin. This mainly helps to improve our mood, hence encouraging positive thoughts and increased feelings of compassion for others.

Strengthen relationships
Occasional tactile interactions with our family, friends, and partners can help strengthen our bond with them. Hugging, holding hands, light touches, or even massaging can promote trust and compassion between both parties.

Boost our immune system
Just like how human touch can increase oxytocin, it can also lower the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol in the body. This then contributes to a stronger immune system and better health overall. Also, it is said that hugs can promote the maintenance of our white blood cells. This is also said to help improve immunity.

Different body parts and human touch
• Hands – hands are obviously the most common because they are what we mainly use for our sense of touch. Although that’s the case, our hands can also be on the receiving end (e.g. when someone holds our hands).
• Neck – for many people, the neck is the most sensitive to human touch. Although much exposed to others, our neck is considered an intimate area. You may notice that if someone is anxious or afraid, they will usually cover their necks with their hands or clothes. While a person who is comfortable sits back and opens up with their neck usually exposed.
• Back – Majority of men and women also prefer their back to be stroked and caressed. This is probably because the back is the most easily accessible. We are also usually fine when friends and companions touch our back every now and then.

5 Foods You Didn’t Think Would Give You Gas (But Actually Do)

Even though you may think your day is going well, you can easily make it worse by eating the wrong foods that interfere with the good bacteria in your gut, which can cause indigestion and force you to make a run for the bathroom.

Here are a few foods you might want to skip out on if you want your belly and your life to run as smoothly as possible:

1. Broccoli
Complex sugars called raffinose are usually found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and vinegar, which only break down when they enter the small intestine and can cause bloating and gas.

However, there’s no reason why you should give up on broccoli. If you want to munch on them for dinner, try not to overcook them to preserve their health benefits.

2. Artificial sweeteners
Even though sweeteners are sugar-free, that doesn’t mean they come with their own downsides. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin can alter your gut bacteria, resulting in more weight gain.

Sugar-free foods such as candies and gum can also make you feel bloated, or act as a laxative when you eat too much, as well as trick your stomach into producing more acids than it needs to.

If you want to sate your sweet tooth, there are still plenty of alternatives to sugar and artificial sweeteners, such as honey or coconut sugar.

3. Corn
Corn isn’t the easiest food that your system can process. If you don’t chew corn well enough, there’s a good chance that it will simply pass through undigested and cause an upset stomach when you’re not careful.

However, you can simply get around this by thoroughly chewing corn whether it’s canned or on the cob.

4. Fried foods
Fast food may not exactly be the definition of a healthy meal, but you’ll be surprised how quickly fried foods can go through your system undigested and make you feel more bloated.

Additionally, fried foods can either stay too long or too short in your system, and neither are good options for you.

The good news is there are plenty of alternatives for fast food in Singapore, and since you can easily get healthier foods for cheap, you have even more reasons to switch to a more tummy-friendly diet.

5. Citrus fruits
It might be tempting to add citrus fruits to your diet when you want to live a healthier lifestyle, but acidic fruits might only upset your stomach and further imitate the lining, which can lead to acid reflux and burping.
If you experience these symptoms, you might want to cut out the citrus fruits and opt for fruits such as bananas, which are great at easing heartburn.

5 High-Carb Foods that Can Help You Lose Weight

You might be too quick to blame carbohydrates for weight gain thanks to various fad diets, but when you lack your body’s primary source of energy, cutting them won’t necessarily help you shrink your waistline.

The good news is that you don’t need to cut all your carbohydrates to slim down – in fact, here are a few that can help you on your path to the figure you wanted:

1. Sweet potato
Curb your sweet tooth and carb cravings with sweet potato! Not only do they have a really small amount of fat, but you can also cook them in different ways, such as frying, roasting, or air-frying.

Sweet potatoes also contain adiponectin, which helps your body regulate your blood sugar, and only has very little carbs and sodium compared to white potatoes.

2. Whole grain bread/pasta
You can still be serious about losing weight without ditching bread, but instead of plain white bread, you can make the switch to whole grain bread because of its higher fiber content.

Whole grain pasta is also another option that lets you get your increased daily fiber intake easily, and you can even top it with olive oil and vegetables.

3. Oatmeal
Oatmeal may be a great snack for a rainy afternoon, but there’s a little more to it than that. Not only does oatmeal help you lower your overall blood pressure, but it also lowers your risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
When you do buy oatmeal, be sure to steer clear of the instant brands that have added sugar. Add almond butter or coconut sugar instead for flavor.

4. Brown/black rice
There are many alternatives to white rice to stock up on, and will arguably be the most essential grain in your diet.

For instance, brown rice may be a little higher in calories, but it also comes with the extra protein and fiber, as well as selenium. Black rice is just as good with its high levels of anthocyanin, which is a great antioxidant that lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

5. Black beans
Legumes might be used mostly in vegetable dishes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add black beans in your diet by themselves.

Not only are black beans rich in soluble fiber and help you maintain healthy bones, but many studies have also shown that they can help you cut down your weight and lower your risk of heart disease as well as improve your digestion.

The best part about getting these high-carb foods is not only the fact that they are cheap and budget-friendly, but they are also versatile food ingredients you should definitely have in your kitchen.

Advantages of Being More Confident

Being confident with ourselves and our abilities will take us a long way in life. It is essential in school, at work, and in our daily lives in general. But of course, we have to understand that there is a difference between being confident and being arrogant. Put it this way, confidence is about knowing yourself while arrogance is knowing yourself and rubbing it in peoples’ faces. Anyway, being more confident can open up many opportunities for an individual.

1. You’ll have “grace under pressure”
When you are confident, you will be able to perform your best even when facing a lot of pressure. You will perform to your full potential while optimistically engaging the challenges that come your way. Being confident under pressure is also a great attribute to have for your work life. Not only will you become more productive, you might also see more success at work.

2. You get less stressed
Being confident allows you to be free from anxiety and self-doubt. A lot of stress comes from worrying about doing things right or wrong. But if you are confident with yourself, you’ll be less likely to fall into this trap of anxiety and you will be able to get rid of burdens that may come because of stress easily. Consequently, confidence allows for less stress and overall peace of mind.

3. You will exhibit the qualities of a leader
Lee Kuan Yew can probably be a prime example of leadership through confidence in the self. Being confident, even in its simplest, is essential in leadership and influence. If you are confident, you will display an aura of control over any situation and usually others will offer their trust and gravitate towards you knowing that you have the ability to do this.

4. You become more attractive
You might have read this a million times on the internet. The simple explanation, really, is that it’s true. Showing your confidence makes you more attractive because you are letting another person know how you feel about yourself. You are able to present how happy you are without any worry of others’ opinions and this shows the other person how you generally live your life. Plus, when you are confident you are easily able to communicate your thoughts and feelings to a person.

5. You become happier
The bottom line is, you become happier with yourself and with your life as a whole. This is because you are satisfied with your life and you don’t take many problems as much of a big deal. You are always in a position for happiness because you have great responsibility, you can control your emotions, and you can manage stress effectively. This is somehow both a cause and effect of confidence though, if you think about. It’s simply because confidence stems from your positivity, all the while you are able to remain positive because you are confident.

The Benefits of Yoga

You may find that there are many yoga studios all around Singapore. Now you’ve heard that yoga can help relieve stress and whatnot, but you’re hesitant to try it out. But really, there’s nothing to fear about yoga. It doesn’t just involve relaxation, it even has benefits for the heart. If you need more convincing, here are some benefits of yoga:

Flexibility
One famous and more obvious benefit of yoga is improved flexibility. This is simply because possibly all yoga positions involve stretching. It includes stretching not only muscles but also the joints. If you’re just starting out, don’t worry if you can’t do the stretches fully, that’s typically normal. As you continue doing them though, you’ll notice that your whole body has become more flexible.

Stress relief
Another well-known benefit of yoga is that it encourages relaxation and eases stress and anxiety. This is because yoga can significantly reduce the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. A lot of its stress-relief benefits also come from the mindful awareness of our bodies that come with it. The breathing exercises and overall meditative nature is what ultimately calms you down, both in the mind and the body.

Helps protect the heart
The exercises done in yoga improves the circulation of blood around the body which means that your blood flow also becomes better. Some yoga poses have been said to help flush out excess waste in the blood while allowing oxygenated blood to flow better. This basically means that your heart is able to pump out and supply blood to our muscle tissues and organs more effectively. Consequently, it helps maintain blood pressure, as high blood pressure is a known contributor to heart disease.

Can help with chronic pain
Feeling a bit of soreness around your neck, arms, or shoulders? Suffering from chronic back pain? Then, try a bit of yoga. Yoga exercises can help release the tension in your muscles and reduce any chronic pain. It has been found that those with carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis of the knees have experienced improved performance and reduced pain in the parts affected.

Promote better sleep
Yoga is also a way to get a deeper and better-quality sleep. This, again, has a lot to do with the relaxing and meditative nature of yoga. It has been said that yoga also enhances the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. When you do yoga, you’ll find that you may be able to sleep faster, sleep longer, and feel more refreshed when you wake up.

Improves focus
As we all know, lack of focus can negatively affect productivity. Fortunately, improving concentration is another advantage of yoga. Yoga, just like meditation, enriches our mindful awareness. With that, the brain’s ability to acquire, process, and recall information becomes better. This also helps because it gets rid of the distracting thoughts that swim around our head.

How to Take Care of Your Refrigerator in 5 Easy Steps

Since your refrigerator runs 24/7 to keep your food fresh and cool for a long time, it’s likely that it will be the first appliance to start showing signs of being worn down with use. But with proper care and maintenance, you can make your appliance last for as long as possible.

Here’s how you can take care of your fridge in five easy steps:

1. Clean the interior regularly
Seeing the dirty interior of a refrigerator can be off-putting and unsanitary, as well as pose all kinds of potential health problems. You can avoid this by wiping them down once a week using a cloth made damp with warm water.

All-purpose cleaners are also commercially available, and can do the job without taking as much effort.
You should also eliminate any odors using a freshener that’s specifically designed for fridge interiors, which can usually last you up to six months.

2. Replace the rubber gasket as needed
The gasket outlines your freezer and fridge doors, and is easily one of the most overlooked parts of the whole unit. However, it’s also one of the most important, so when it starts to weaken or loosen after a while, be sure to clean and replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

This is because without the rubber gasket, your fridge won’t be able to do its job normally since the former is responsible for sealing out the hot air.

3. De-frost regularly
Regular cleaning also includes regular de-frosting to get rid of the ice that has accumulated on the inside of your freezer. When doing this, clear out your fridge and wait for the ice to melt – to not
However, if your fridge de-frosts on its own, you don’t have to do anything except clean the pan where the water drains into, as this can easily accumulate odors and bacterial growth. Be sure to clean it with warm water and a small amount of detergent when doing so.

4. Check your condenser coils
Your refrigerator unit can’t run efficiently if your condenser coils are covered with dust, so when you do clean out this part of your fridge, be sure to unplug the machine and reveal the coils in the back before vacuuming using a brush attachment.

5. Clean/replace the water filter regularly
If your unit has a dedicated ice-maker or a water dispenser as an additional feature, it must also have a water filter that needs to be changed regularly.

Be sure to check your owner’s manual on how when you should do this, as well as how often. However, a good rule of thumb is that you should change it at least once a month, and don’t wait around until the water starts to taste bad.

When Should You Get Your Refrigerator Serviced?

Simple maintenance and cleaning can do a lot to extend your refrigerator’s shelf life and keep it running smoothly, but even with the latest models with great insulation and cooling models, your fridge will eventually need servicing and repair as time goes on.

When to Get Your Refrigerator Serviced
If you notice that you’re using the same amount of energy per month and yet see a rise in your electricity bill, the biggest reason may be your fridge. Here are a few signs that maintenance is no longer is enough and that your refrigerator needs servicing:

• The motor runs hot – It’s normal to feel a warmer temperature change at the back of your fridge since the coils give off heat. However, the coils are insulated, so when it gets too hot, this is a sign that something is wrong.

• Food spoils faster – Another sure-fire sign that your fridge is about to break down is when food starts to spoil longer than it normally would, or that it takes longer for the interior to cool.

• Your fridge is more than ten years old – Refrigerators have an average shelf life between ten and twenty years, but the older it gets, the most expensive it may be to replace it.

• You can hear your fridge running – You should really call a technician to see what’s wrong if you can hear it running. While refrigerators aren’t usually the quietest home appliances available, an ongoing buzz or hum can indicate a serious problem.

• The freezer is too cold – Another way to indicate that your fridge needs servicing is when the freezer starts to look like an iceberg, and the frozen food stored in it becomes difficult to remove.

Keep in mind that these problems can occur with any refrigerator whether it’s new or old. When you’re dealing with a newer unit that has problems, you might be better off having your unit serviced.

However, if the fridge is nearing or well past its lifespan, you might be better off replacing it.

Should You Replace Your Refrigerator?
When given proper maintenance and care, a refrigerator usually doesn’t give you much trouble, but there are various reasons why it’s better – and much cheaper – to simply buy a new refrigerator for your home.

The biggest reason for this is because of the repair costs that mount the older the unit gets: not only are the replacement parts more difficult to find, but as each part slowly starts to wear down, you might as well be better off buying a new refrigerator and scrapping the old one instead.

Be sure to talk to your refrigerator servicing company about the best action to take.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

As we go through our everyday lives, completing one task after the other, it is easy to say that we are working and functioning as effectively as we can. It’s important to take a break sometime and observe how other people function. Are we working as hard and as effective as our highly effective and successful colleagues?

Since we all want to be successful and effective individuals, try these seven habits to find your own success.

1. They are proactive
You cannot finish anything if you just sit around and just wait for things to happen. Effective individuals know that there’s no value in lazing around and in spending more time on words than in actions. The most powerful thing you can do is to take the reins on your hands and initiate movement.

2. They prioritize
When confronted with so many tasks, it’s tempting to stop when the going gets tough. However, the most effective thing to do is to actually push through. The difficulty of a task should not change its priority level in your to-dos.

3. They understand things before tackling them
Oftentimes, people start doing things without property understanding the instructions, which ultimately results into ineffective actions that’s far from the outcome they expected. Setting aside ample time to sort things out and plan carefully will significantly benefit the outcome.

4. They synergize
there’s nothing more effective than teamwork. Regardless how good you are when you work alone, there’s always greater power when you work in numbers. Try to synergize on every task you have, and you’ll be surprised how much more effective you can be.

5. They don’t make excuses
Regardless of how many excuses they make, effective people know that it will never change the outcome. Even valid excuses do not finish a project or make them successful. In case of failure, successful and highly effective people see this as an opportunity, not a hindrance that blocks their success.

6. They are not afraid of failure
As the old adage “no risk, no reward” applies true to highly effective people. They go all out for it almost with a willingness to fail. Just like most of us, they are not interested with failing, but they know that it is part of being successful to experience failure. They see it as a chance to improve themselves and do better the next time around.

7. They embrace breaks and alone time
Lastly, and probably the most important habit of all is taking good care of yourself. Let yourself enjoy your own time and space, not just once in a blue moon but a little bit every single day, to help heal your burnt-out ends. Allow some time to regenerate and regroup, and you’ll find that you are more effective when you are at your best.
Start pondering on these seven things. Try to adapt them one at a time and see things chance for the better in your life.

6 Subtle Signs Your Pet Cat is Depressed

Humans are not the only ones who can experience depression. Cats can be sensitive and can also feel whirls of different emotions. If you suspect anything strange in your cat’s behavior, try to look for these signs to help you tell what’s going on.

1. Twitching of Tail
One of the tell-tale signs of an upset cat is their tail. A happy cat usually moves its tail softly and lightly, but a depressed cat may make quick and sharp movements of their tail. Do a little investigation to find the source of discomfort. Felines are creatures of habit and resist change, so start recalling any recent changes.

2. Lethargy
Cats are good sleepers, but a physically and emotionally stable cat also enjoys some spurts of activities. A happy cat loves to stretch, explore, hunt and play every now and then. So, if you notice your cat is sleeping more than normal and seem uninterested in things that usually excites her, look into the possibility of depression.

3. Sudden Neediness
Independence, aloofness and moody—these are some of the common traits of cats. Many cat owners talk about how their pets curl up in their lap and smooches them in the morning. If this is a sudden change of their usual independent behavior, then it could be a first sign of depression.

4. Over or Under Grooming
A change on your cat’s grooming habits can also indicate depression. Some sad cats may stop grooming themselves altogether (or at least will no longer exert the same effort at it), which results to dandruff, oily fur or knots in the hair. Conversely, a depressed cat also has the tendency to overgroom, causing irritated skin, bald patches and even open wounds.

5. Pining Away at the Window
When you leave, your cat will miss you—and that alone can turn into depression if you are gone to often. While cats are known to be independent beings, they still want to be around you, bond with you and be part of the family. Playing with your cat on a regular basis helps solidify the bond you have, so take some time to cuddle and play with your kitty.

6. Pooping in Unusual Places
If your kitty is pooping in places other than her litterbox, it can be a sign of underlying health issue or depression. It is important to react to it in a positive way. Since cats are solitary mammals, they lack the capability to understand social cues or to connect the punishment to their action. Instead, use positive reinforcement and make sure that her litterbox is always accessible and clean.

Anything from unstimulating environment to a family member leaving home can cause depression to and can change the behavior of your beloved feline. However, since most of the above symptoms can also be signs of underlying medical problem, it is still vital to visit your veterinarian once you notice any of those in your cat.

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